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During Mike’s last interview, he was asked to tell the interviewer something about his accomplishments, skills or qualifications. He panicked slightly, trying to find the balance between touting what he had done and bragging, and he ended up playing down some of his biggest strengths. When he didn’t get the position, he wondered if he had accidentally sabotaged his chances by not playing up his best qualities?

Too many of us follow Mike’s example, ironically worried that we’ll come off as arrogant by telling employers about our accomplishments or figuring we don’t simply want to repeat what’s already on the resume. But figuring out that balance can help you land the job.

  • Discuss accomplishments and skills together. If you want to sing your praises a bit, do it by highlighting a skill you used to do something positive for the company. By doing so you’re killing two birds with one stone, letting your interviewer know you used an on-the-job skill well enough to make an improvement (land a client, improve productivity, increase sales numbers, etc.). This also tells them you can do the same thing for their company.
  • Make sure not to downplay yourself. Unfortunately, far too often women attribute successes to luck or help from others while men tend to focus on natural talent. Either way, you can show you’re a team player while still taking proper credit for the work you’ve done. For example, if talking about a team project that helped your company gain a new account, discuss how well you worked with your colleagues…focus on your contributions.
  • Prepare well. You know they’ll ask about your greatest accomplishment or skills you have that will help with this position. Look the job description over carefully and figure out how your skills and accomplishments could fit in. Then practice telling a story about each, so it doesn’t sound like you reeling off a list of your greatest hits, which can come off as arrogant. A story engages your listener and gives them valuable information, as well as showing them how you’ll fit in to the culture.

Let your light shine at your next interview; just make sure you don’t have it too bright or so low others won’t see it. For advice on jobs or to find your next one, partner with the job search professionals at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks Ventura County.

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